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Non-Road Diesel Announcement, Washington, D.C.

04/15/2003
Remarks of Governor Christine Todd Whitman
Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
at the
Non-Road Diesel Announcement
Washington, D.C.

April 15, 2003


Thank you Joe (Martyak). Good morning everyone. I = m pleased to be here today to announce an important new initiative that will greatly improve the quality of our air. EPA is proposing a new rule that would dramatically reduce harmful emissions from non- road diesel engines used in construction, farming, industrial, and airport service equipment. Non-road diesel engines are a major source of mobile emissions that up until this point have been virtually unregulated.

Since tractors and bulldozers are not a common sight on the highway during our daily commute, it may seem that their impact on our air is relatively small. However, quite the opposite is true. Just one large bulldozer produces 800 pounds of air pollution a year, which is equivalent to the pollution associated with 26 cars. Non-road diesel engines as a whole account for 44% of particulate matter and 12% of NOX emissions that enter our air from mobile sources. Both PM and NOX have harmful effects on our air quality. From shrouding our cities and parks in haze to making it difficult for Americans with respiratory problems to breathe B especially children with asthma B these emissions not only harm our air but our quality of life as well. Under this new rule, PM and NOX emissions would be reduced by 90%, which means that the 800 pounds of pollution churned out by that bulldozer will be reduced to 80. As a result of these reductions, we will achieve important health benefits. By 2030, when fully implemented, we estimate that 9,600 premature deaths and over 8,300 hospitalizations will be avoided annually.

Providing annual savings of over $80 billion will far outweigh the estimated annual program costs of $1.5 billion. As part of this proposal, we are also requiring sulfur reductions in non-road diesel fuel of 99%, which means advanced emission control systems will be required on this equipment for the first time ever. These new engine technologies coupled with the lower sulfur fuel will operate as a system to more effectively reduce harmful diesel emissions.

By working together in partnership with both the fuel providers and engine manufacturers, we are helping make the transition to cleaner non-road diesel engines a more efficient process. It = s important to note that today = s announcement is part of a series of rules that have put stringent new emissions requirements on all mobile sources.

From setting new tail pipe standards and utilizing low sulphur gasoline in addressing emissions from cars and SUV = s to our work reducing diesel pollution from large trucks and buses to our efforts to curb the pollution associated with recreational vehicles, we have addressed the full fleet of on-road and off-road vehicles. By addressing our mobile sources in a comprehensive manner, we are reaping tremendous environmental results. When fully implemented, these programs will reduce air pollution by nearly 7 million tons and save over 23,000 lives a year. Of course, mobile sources are only a piece of our work to improve air quality.

Initiatives such as President Bush = s Clear Skies Act B the most important reduction proposed by any President for the electric utility sector B and Clean School Bus USA B improving the pollution performance of our public school buses, are furthering our efforts to provide Americans with cleaner air. As we move forward with this new non-road rule, we will work closely with business and all interested stakeholders to ensure the success of this effort.

Over the next few months, we will hold several public hearings to discuss this program, and a final rule will be issued next Spring. As I have said many times before, this Administration wants the success of our environmental efforts to be measured in real results, in progress not endless process. Therefore, we will continue to press forward with our efforts to reduce air pollution until the result is indeed cleaner air and the measure of progress is improved health and greater quality of life for this and future generations.

In closing, I would like to thank the staff here at EPA in the Office of Air, OPEI, and OGC, who worked countless hours on this proposal. In addition, I would like to thank OMB, state and local government groups, and our other stakeholders from the business, environmental, and public health community for their cooperation and assistance in developing this rule. Thank you.